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Retaliatory strikes by Turkey kill eleven 'Islamic State' militants in Syria

The Turkish military has killed at least eleven IS militants after the group fired shells from Syria into the town of Karkamis. Meanwhile, clashes between Syrian rebels and Kurdish forces rage on near the Turkish border.

A senior Turkish official, Ali Yerlikaya, confirmed Thursday that mortar shells were fired from an area controlled by the self-declared "Islamic State" (IS) based in Syria into Karkamis. The shells damaged a howitzer cannon belonging to the Turkish army, but no casualties were reported. IS claimed in an online statement that it had hit three tanks.

Yerlikaya told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the Turkish army responded by attacking IS targets across the border.

So far this year, cross-border rocket attacks from Syria have killed 18 people in the Turkish border town of Kilis, which is 150 kilometers (93 miles) west of Karkamis.

Turkey said that the US is to deploy a rocket launcher system

in southeastern Turkey, across the border from Syria.

Kurdish fighters clash with Syrian rebels

Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters and Syrian rebels continue to clash in the north of Aleppo province near the Turkish border, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The fighting broke out Wednesday night as rebels tried to capture Tal Riffat, a Kurdish-held town. The clashes left at least 53 rebels and 11 members of the Kurdish-Arab alliance, the Syrian Democratic Council, dead.

shs/ jm (AP, Reuters)

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